Mike Morales: Hi, I’m Mike Morales. You’re watching a special edition of Open Bar on Tequila Aficionado Media on all of our platforms. I am here in San Antonio, and that gentleman is… Go ahead, tell us who you are, [chuckle] mystery guest.
Bill Foss: I’m Bill Foss, the owner and maker of Suavecito Tequila.
Mike Morales: Suavecito Tequila, ladies and gentleman. This is the new packaging, new iteration, you might… For those of you who have been following Tequila Aficionado Media, you might remember that we talked about Suavecito and it was a Brand of Promise winner and nominee back in 2013. This has been quite a long journey for you, Bill. I have… This iteration is one of my favorites. I love this, with the… This is the Anejo version, and I just… I love the packaging. What… Let me ask you, Bill, why tequila? What made you go, “Hey, I think I’ll just make a tequila?”
Bill Foss: Well, it’s not quite that simple. I was closing down my big business in Chicago about 17, 18 years ago. I was gonna kinda semi-retire, and my warehouse manager came up to me one day and just asked me if I wanted to be a partner with him in an Agave farm in Mexico. I said no, I didn’t know anything about Agave, but I went home and realized I was gonna be moving to Indianapolis, where there were kids and grandkids, but I didn’t know anybody in Indianapolis except the kids. So I hopped on a plane, flew to Guadalajara, and three days later, I owned an Agave farm.
Mike Morales: Oh… [laughter] Wow! So how’s retirement now, Bill?
Bill Foss: Yeah, right.
Mike Morales: Have you discovered that this is really… This is a time-consuming industry? I mean, the tequila industry right now is… Well, you’ve seen it, it seems like every year it just goes… It goes faster and faster, the consumption, the awareness. What have you seen since you started to… Now, this was back in… What year it was that you became partners?
Bill Foss: I actually bought the farm 18 years ago, but then [laughter] you have to grow your plant six to eight years before you can harvest them.
Mike Morales: Right.
Bill Foss: I wasn’t gonna make tequila at first. I was just gonna sell the Agave. But my first crop became available in 2008 and then 2009, and of course, when the American economy crashed, the Mexicans are kinda screwed, because they count on us for so much…
Mike Morales: Right.
Bill Foss: And I couldn’t sell any of my plants.
Mike Morales: Wow. Wow. So…
Bill Foss: So I had some ideas on how to make a different tequila than what the Mexican community does, and so, I started putting my ideas and my thoughts together, and we came up with just a fantastic product, Suavecito, as you know.
Mike Morales: Yes, yeah. Now, you know what I really, really enjoyed about Suavecito. First of all, for those of you who have not had it, this is a 36%… 35% alcohol by Volume, 70 Proof. Traditionally, in the industry, in the business, this is known as Mexican bottling, Mexican ABV. Because, typically, some of the… It’s not uncommon that some of these brands come in at 35-38 ABV, why did you decide to come into the States with a less alcohol by volume?
Bill Foss: Well, as you just pointed out, in America, the Tequilas are 40% alcohol, but as you just said, in Mexico, they’re 35%-38% alcohol. The Mexicans don’t drink 40% alcohol tequila, and I wanted Suavecito to be more Mexican-authentic, that’s what I…
Mike Morales: Oh, okay. Yeah, that makes total sense to me. And I know that in our tastings with many other brands, it’s not uncommon. For instance, I’ve talked with our founder Alex Perez many times and other of our tasters, we now have grown… We have six tasters in the US, and one in the UK, ’cause we have so many brands that we do tastings for. And I’ve talked to these guys before and our founder, and I said, “You know, I don’t know why, but sometimes it’s not uncommon that liquors below 80 Proof and sometimes higher Proof to me tastes better.” And, you know, that’s generally the feeling. A lot of the guys like that, that 110, 100 Proof, 92 Proof, whatever, and… But I found that some of the liqueurs that come in at lower ABVs are very tasty and don’t lose a lot of the character.
Bill Foss: No, I agree totally. People that taste Suavecito, they know it’s a tequila. But besides the little less alcohol content, I’m the only tequila that takes 2% Agave nectar and I put it back into the tequila. And it’s that 2% Agave nectar that eliminates the burn going down your throat, and makes Suavecito… That’s why we brand it as the world’s smoothest tequila. I figure I’ve given over 10,000 samples in the last eight years, and I’ve never had even one person not agree that we’re the smoothest tequila they’ve ever had.
Mike Morales: Do you ever wonder why most other brands aren’t following this trend?
Bill Foss: Well, that’s what’s worrying me. [chuckle] I wanna get Suavecito to be a National Tequila as quickly as possible, so that that doesn’t happen…
Mike Morales: So…
Bill Foss: Or it happens later.
Mike Morales: Or happens later. Yeah, so that you’re leading the pack, as opposed to the other way around, ’cause you guys are… To my knowledge, at the time that we did this tasting for Suavecito, what I loved, first of all, is that… What you mentioned, the 2% of the Agave nectar, you were very upfront with that on your labeling, and I really like that in an age now where people are looking for authenticity and transparency. I loved it that, back then, you guys were doing that as a rule. I think that a lot of it had to do with, of course, the laws of the labeling as well, but you weren’t hiding anything. And, to my knowledge, there’s only one other tequila that does that, but they do it on their aged spirit. So it’s not across the board. So, to that end, we were talking about wanting to be a leader in the industry as fast as possible, and you’ve been at this stuff 18 years now, so what…
Bill Foss: I’ve only been making Suavecito for eight, though.
Mike Morales: Eight years. Well…
Bill Foss: I’ve had the Agave farm for 18 years, but we’ve only been selling Suavecito for eight, but we have been doing it for eight years.
Mike Morales: Yeah. Well, you know, with brands, the way they’ve been coming in fast and furious lately, if you pass that five year threshold, from what I’ve seen on the marketing side of it, you’re sitting pretty good, you’re a brand to be reckoned with. So, Suavecito certainly has had… You’re headed almost to your 10th year now. So, tell us about something… There’s an exciting situation that’s happening with Suavecito that you’re about to start. As you folks are watching, this is going to be starting tomorrow, correct?
Bill Foss: Right.
Mike Morales: Tell the folks out there exactly what’s going on with Suavecito at this point.
Bill Foss: Sure, Mike. What’s happened is everybody… Once people taste Suavecito, they love it, okay, and they develop a compassion for it. And, recently, I’ve been getting feedback from our folks, asking how they could participate in Suavecito, is there any chance they could invest in Suavecito? And so, we put together a crowdfunding campaign. So, for as little as $100, somebody can own one share of our stock, okay, for that little…
Mike Morales: Holy cow.
Bill Foss: Yeah. So we’re putting… The crowdfunding campaign starts tomorrow. They’ll be able to go right to crowdfunding, or go to our website, and our website will have directions on how to get to the crowdfunding website, so that you can see… We have all different types of levels of investment, from a couple of hundred bucks to $20,000, and different… And we give different awards and surprises and gifts, depending upon what level you decide you wanna invest in Suavecito, but what we’re… Our goal is to get hundreds, maybe even a thousand investors, who now are our ambassadors. Once you own a little bit of stock in a company, you’re gonna tell… You’re gonna… Number one, you’re gonna brag about it, if it’s as good a tequila as Suavecito, and then you’re gonna tell your friends, your family, you’re gonna… Your neighbors. And that’s what we’re looking for, we’re looking to really develop ambassadors all around the country.
Mike Morales: That… You know, it’s interesting that you mentioned the crowdfunding situation, because I’ve only come across very, very few brands who are doing that. One was a Mezcal, the other one was a brand that was… These tend to be very successful, which, if I was a betting man, I would probably do the same thing. Now, when this interview airs, we will have a link directly to the crowdfunding campaign, so I… In fact, when you see the text of this interview, you’ll see it… You’ll see where you can go directly. If you’ve had Suavecito before, and it is available here in Texas. I’m in San Antonio. Where are you… You’re in Denver right now, is that correct?
Bill Foss: Correct, I’m in Denver, that’s our headquarters.
Mike Morales: Okay.
Bill Foss: But we’re in San Antonio, Austin and Dallas, we just opened up those cities in Texas a year ago.
Mike Morales: Yes.
Bill Foss: We’re real big in Cleveland, in Kansas City, Indianapolis. We just opened up South Carolina. I had a two-story restaurant owner call me up out of the… From South Carolina, here I am in Denver, and he said, “We’ve heard so much about your tequila, and we’re opening up our new restaurant right in Myrtle Beach on the ocean. We wanna have Suavecito in at least five of our specialty cocktails… ”
Mike Morales: Oh, my gosh.
Bill Foss: “How soon can you launch sales in South Carolina?” [chuckle] And I said, “Well… ”
Mike Morales: Holy cow.
Bill Foss: That was a holy cow. People around the country… Well, the reason I’m in Texas, I got a phone call a year… About a year-and-a-half ago from a guy who said, “Hey, we’ve heard about your tequila down here in Austin.” I said, “You’ve heard about my tequila in Austin? How’d you hear about it down there?” He said, “Would you please send us three bottles?” So I did. A week later, I get a phone call from a lady. She said, “Hi, my brother and I are the owners of Twin Liquors, here in Central Texas. We own 85 liquor stores in Central Texas. They’ve been family-owned for 86 years… ”
Mike Morales: Wow.
Bill Foss: “And, for 86 years, we’ve been selling tequila. And Mr. Foss, I’ve gotta tell you, we’ve never had a tequila as good as Suavecito. How soon can you come down to Austin, Texas and talk with us?” “Well… ” I said, “You’ve got 86 stores, I’ll be there tomorrow.”
Mike Morales: Well, you know, I was so glad to have had one… Be one of the first ones to actually review Suavecito, and that was one of the rare moments when Alex, our founder and myself were actually in the same state, and we actually could do this side-by-side in the same room, ’cause most often we do this over Skype, and people who are watching us now will see me on one screen and you on the other side of the screen. And we do a lot of these, as I said, consistently, and I was so glad. We were really, really impressed with a lot of the things that was going on with not only the labeling but the packaging, the flavor profile, it was… And I love the transparency, I think that’s really important… And it’s also rare that… I guess, the… My question to you is, this is an estate-grown tequila. I mean, you’re growing your own Agave for this particular brand, so you’re actually in quite a position that some of the other startup brands don’t find themselves in right now, ’cause a lot of folks, if you’ve been paying attention, we’re in the middle of an Agave crisis right here, and not that things are as super easy for you, but at least you have your own source, and that says a lot. That’s big this time in the history of tequila.
Bill Foss: Oh, I could say… It’s not only big. My farm is up in the mountains. My farm is at a 7000 foot altitude, okay? So I have mountain-grown agave, like mountain-grown coffee, mountain-grown grapes, they’re superior to the lowlands Agave. So besides the fact that I’m the only guy that adds 2% Agave nectar, I’m in the top 8% or 9% of all tequilas just because of my plants.
Mike Morales: Wow. And have you learned in all… In the years that you’ve been partnered with… What have you learned… The challenges that you’ve learned about growing your own Agave? That must be something really… You must have gone to school again to learn all that stuff.
Bill Foss: Well, almost, almost. When I went to Mexico to look for farms, I visited four or five farms one day, then visited four or five farms another day, and most everybody’s plants were about the same size. Occasionally, guys would have much taller plants and they would credit it to manure. [chuckle] They would all credit it that they used chicken manure or horse manure, and they used the stuff. So after two days of seeing this, I asked Manuel, who was with me, if he knew where the University of Guadalajara was? And I said, “Take me there.” So we went to the University, found the Chairman of the Agriculture Department. He said his number one PhD in Agave was Dr. Luis Ramirez, and he just happened to be in his office too. So Dr. Ramirez comes over, we sat down and we talked. 15 minutes later, I had him on contract to visit my farm in every six weeks. So I’ve got the…
Mike Morales: Wow.
Bill Foss: The number one PhD in Agave that oversees my farm. And…
Mike Morales: You got the head of the department.
Bill Foss: And so, when you’re talking about what have I learned, we don’t have enough time today for me to tell you all the things that I’ve learned.
Mike Morales: Well, yeah, but it’s fun for us here at Tequila Aficionado to be able to talk to brand owners, importers, you know, because they all have a certain set of challenges that are particular to themselves in the position that they’re in. And I imagine you do a lot of your own tastings, right? You, yourself are… Have you done any pairing dinners and… I know you have certain ambassadors who take care of that. You have… As a matter of fact, I met your gal from Austin or the Texas area, and she was of course… She was really nice enough to drop these off, but she was in the middle of going between here and Houston. So, have you done tastings yourself? I mean, what do you find that are the common questions that you get about your tequila when you do these?
Bill Foss: Well, if you’re in Denver, I do the tastings, yes, absolutely. And I do it for one basic reason. When the people are done tasting it and they recognize how good it is, and then they find out that they’re not talking to a sales rep but they’re talking to the man that actually makes the tequila, that kinda blows them away, and then I autograph their bottles for them.
Mike Morales: Ah, look at you.
Bill Foss: And that blows it away. Just between us, my record is selling 46 bottles at one tasting here.
Mike Morales: Wow.
Bill Foss: Yeah, nobody’s…
Mike Morales: Wow. You must have had hand cramps, carpal tunnel, right?
Bill Foss: Pretty close, the store manager was beside himself. He said he had never seen anything like that in his life. But I tell him, when people taste Suavecito, number one, they love it, and the vast majority of them buy it right there anyhow. It just adds a little when they find out who they’re talking to and then I autograph the bottles, it just makes it a little simpler. But I sell a lot.
Mike Morales: Yeah, I mean, it is literally… It’s grassroots campaigning. You’re shaking hands, kissing babies, signing bottles, and that’s what I love about the brand. And so, in all the years that we’ve been communicating off and on, the people around the brand have always been very approachable. And I think that that says a lot, because there are so many startup brands unlike Suavecito, that you can’t get close to the owner. You can’t get close to the maker. We just saw the other day that Dwayne Johnson ‘The Rock’ is gonna be coming out with his own tequila. I guarantee you, you will probably never be able to shake his hand or meet him, and there’s no way he could sign all the bottles and autograph… At least not in public, maybe as they’re coming through the conveyor belt. But it’s not the case with you guys. And the neat part is, soon, as of tomorrow, you guys… Those folks watching us and people listening to us will be able to own a part of this brand, part of the tequila and part of the Suavecito legacy. That says a lot. That doesn’t happen very often. Nope. You know, The Rock’s not gonna ask me for any money to invest in his brand, but Bill Foss is. And this is the cool part, everything you need to know is on this label. You’re available in how many states now?
Bill Foss: We’re in seven states right now. Our goal is to be a National Tequila, which means you need to be in a minimum of 40 states. And our goal is to hit that within five or six years. We wanna pick up five, six states per year for the next five or six years.
Mike Morales: So the other thing that I’m seeing then is that you’re looking to grow… Not grow so… Bigger than your britches. You’re really taking the time to be in one territory and work as one state, one territory, one whatever, and really solidify, really gain a foothold in whatever state that you’re in. You’re not… Some brands, even the well-funded ones, I think, make the mistake of trying to be in too many places at once and not being able to concentrate. Do you say that that’s…
Bill Foss: That’s absolutely the truth. Absolutely. That’s why when I sat down with my staff and some of my investors, we agreed just five or six states a year. We just expanded. We’ve been in Cleveland for quite a while but we just expanded to Columbus and Cincinnati just in January. We’re in Kansas City, doing a great job on both sides of the border.
Mike Morales: Oh, cool.
Bill Foss: But we’re not in the rest of the state of Kansas, so I’ve been on the phone with a new distributor in the Kansas area to pick up the rest of the state of Kansas. And we’ve got a good brand ambassador out there who can work with both distributors that we’ll have. And so, we’re going to be at the nightclub and bar convention at the end of March. I was there our very first year, when we opened up eight years ago, I got a table there. And we had over 300 people who gave me their business cards because they want Suavecito in their bar, restaurant or a store. But we weren’t big enough to be in California, Nevada and Arizona, we weren’t big enough to be in all the states. Well, we are now. And so that’s our goal. We’re going back there again, we’re gonna open up Southern California, Arizona and Nevada in March, April and May, and that’s our five states, that’s for our goal this year.
Mike Morales: Wow, that’s cool, that’s cool. So when you folks are watching this, this could actually be happening simultaneously during the nightclub and bar show. I’ve been there once or twice, and it… Well, you know, the mass of humanity that shows up, you have everything from tequila brands to DJs and fog machines, Coke is there, everybody is there, everybody who’s anybody. And bottle makers and people like that. So if you happen to see… You’ll be there yourself, correct? You’ll…
Bill Foss: Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah.
Mike Morales: Stop by and say hi, say that you’ve seen us, you’ve seen Suavecito on Tequila Aficionado Media. Tell… Just to be safe, tell the folks the website address for now, and all the information on how to… How to join the crowdfunding will be on this information and also on Tequila Aficionado Media. What is the website address for now?
Bill Foss: Just go to suavecitotequila.com. It’s that simple.
Mike Morales: Yeah, or if they want to… If they wanna do the search on our website as well, Suavecito will come up on… We’ve done the tasting a while back, but the website hasn’t changed, the address hasn’t changed.
Bill Foss: Right.
Mike Morales: And let’s see, are you… Do you have… You have your own master distiller, correct? Or the flavor profiles. How did that come about? Was that something you did in conjunction with your master distiller or was this your idea? ‘Cause I know you said you had certain ideas that you wanted to infuse into Suavecito.
Bill Foss: Yeah, they were my ideas. And my son and his friends are all tequila drinkers. And so I use them as my guidelines, as I put the different combinations in. And, with those guys, that’s how we ended up with just 2% Agave nectar, instead of any more or any less. Something interesting that your listeners will really like is, back when you tasted my three tequilas, we had a real little distillery because, again, I hadn’t even produced one bottle yet, when… Back eight years ago, nine years ago.
Mike Morales: Wow, okay.
Bill Foss: So we got a little distillery pick this up, and… But he had to do it my way. It had… I didn’t want used whiskey barrels. I wanted California oak barrels that had already been used once for tequila, but not for anything else. So when my competition was using used whiskey barrels, I was using used tequila barrels, okay? And we came up… Yeah, it was great ’cause if you use brand new oak, sometimes the oak is too pungent.
Mike Morales: Yeah.
Bill Foss: So… Yeah. So we used used whiskey barrels and we came up with our formula for the three tequilas. Now, that distillery actually went out of business about a year and a half ago. And I looked around and researched and I found the Orendain Distillery, the oldest, largest distillery in all of Mexico. They tasted my tequila and said, “Oh my God, we would love to make Suavecito.”
Mike Morales: That’s awesome.
Bill Foss: But wait till you hear this one. So I then went down and spent an entire week with their chief engineer, okay, because they had to match my three tequilas that the little story was doing, because we’ve got a… We’ve got a fan base of people that just love Suavecito. Okay, it took… It only took a few hours to match the Blanco, we were okay. Took a day to match the Reposado, because they use different type of… The barrels.
Mike Morales: Right.
Bill Foss: Now, when it comes to the Anejo, we… They couldn’t match my Anejo at all. We spent two days working and working and working. Finally, the owner of the distillery comes in, says, “I hear you guys are having some problems with the Anejo.” And the engineer says, “Yeah, we are Boss.” And he says… And he points up to couple stainless steel tanks, and he says, “Get some of our seven-year-old extra Anejo and start blending it.” Stop. So, today, Suavecito’s Anejo isn’t what you used to have.
Mike Morales: Yeah.
Bill Foss: Our Anejo today is a blend of two-year-old Anejo and seven-year-old extra Anejo.
Mike Morales: Oh, my…
Bill Foss: It’s to die for.
Mike Morales: Oh my God. And it’s still a 35 ABV, it’s still 70 proof. Yeah, I was noticing too.
Bill Foss: Yeah.
Mike Morales: I was noticing too that it’s not uncommon that…
Bill Foss: Look how dark it is.
Mike Morales: Well, yeah.
Bill Foss: [laughter] That’s a seven-year-old in there.
Mike Morales: We… You know, we loved it the first time, and we… I loved that it was so… It was dark and rich, and I did notice that these samples were dropped off to us very, very quickly, but there… This is an older stock, and the way I… The reason I know that it’s ’cause I look at the NOM numbers, this is… The Reposado is older stock, but chances are, all of it… By the time anybody sees this, it’s all gonna be uniform, ’cause right here, it says, “Manufactured and bottled by Tequila Orendain de Jalisco.” Congratulations, that’s NOM 1110, ladies and gentlemen.
Bill Foss: Yes.
Mike Morales: That… That’s amazing. So not only… Not only will folks who are looking for the crowdfunding, not only are you going to be watching this and getting to know Bill Foss, but you’ll also know that your tequila, the one that you’ll own a share of, is coming from a very reputable and legendary…
Bill Foss: Legendary.
Mike Morales: Legendary distillery. This isn’t… This by no means is any fly-by-night. You folks are almost headed to your 10th year or your eight years now in it. Five years is, to me, that threshold… So you’ve got a lot of… A lot of… You had a lot of base hits, man, you got doubles and triples and…
Mike Morales: I love that. Look at… Look at the bottle, look at the embossing on the bottle too. I… Some of the best tequilas that I have in my stash, up in my kitchen up here, in my top shelf are Orendain tequilas, even from Hojitas to Don Eduardo and some of the other ones, of course, there are several family members, but each of the distilleries has beautiful tequilas that come out of it. They are one of the oldest tequila-making families in history. So I’m jazzed… I… You’re right, I was not… I had heard, probably in the last eight years, we hear so many rumors that the brand had changed distilleries, but, oh my God, sometimes it goes from bad to worse when you change the distillery. You walk away…
Bill Foss: Right.
Mike Morales: From a really great fan base, and a great tequila, and you go someplace else, and then it never tastes the same. You went from a really steady, small distillery to a legendary family name, and it’s like…
Bill Foss: Exactly.
Mike Morales: Wow! That… Holy cow, man. I was not aware of that, and I started reading the labels, ’cause, to be fair, to be honest, I hadn’t… We’ve been so busy here at Tequila Aficionado, I hadn’t had a chance to actually look at the packaging, the label ’cause we get so many of these that… But when I looked at the… While you were talking is that, “Oh, wait a minute, these are different distilleries. And, holy cow, you guys have the best in the business right there. So I love that everything that Suavecito is doing is slow, steady improvement on what you’ve already built. What… What specific challenges do you see, as a brand owner and an Agave grower in the industry right now, what do you see going on? Are you concerned, probably not so much for your brand, but for the industry in general?
Bill Foss: Well, as you mentioned earlier, the price of Agave has gone up. But it’s gone up for my competitors as well as me, so the price of tequila in 2019 is the bottles are just gonna raise a buck or two for the consumer. The consumer is gonna have to pay a little bit more, but the tequila, tequila is the number one growing spirit in the United States, percentage-wise.
Mike Morales: Yeah.
Bill Foss: It just… Year after year, it just goes on like crazy, and the craft tequilas are the biggest grower. And so I’m excited. I’m just excited for what’s ahead for Suavecito.
Mike Morales: That’s really the coolest thing. Again, I was not aware that you had a partner with the Orendain family in order to bring this to market like that. That is… See, that, to me, is a really great point, that you’re really in it for the long haul, you knew that… Here you had retired. You are ready to just relax, and now you find yourself… You find… You find yourself a lot busier than you normally are.
Bill Foss: Way busier.
Bill Foss: Sometimes, it gets crazy, yes.
Mike Morales: So the… You have… You’re going… This crowdfunding effort will have several different tiers. What sort of prices do you have in mind for the tiers? Can you tell us what’s going on with some of those tiers?
Bill Foss: If you invest as little as $250, we’ll send you a couple of… Besides the unit you will have purchased, we’ll also send you a couple Suavecito shot glasses.
Mike Morales: Oh, cool.
Bill Foss: If you invest, I forget what it is, $1200, or something like that, you not only get the same two-shot glasses, but we’ll send you a Suavecito t-shirt. You get up to 3000 or 4000, we’ll give you the shot glasses, a t-shirt, and a polo shirt. Okay, you get a…
Mike Morales: Like the one you’re wearing, that’s got that Suavecito over ’em.
Bill Foss: Yeah, exactly. You get up into the $5000 and $10,000 range and we’ll give you all of those same things plus an all-expense paid trip here to Denver for our first annual investor’s meeting.
Mike Morales: Wow.
Bill Foss: Now, now…
Mike Morales: Wow.
Bill Foss: The highest level, the highest level, if you wanna invest as much as 25,000, you’ll not only get all of those things that I just said, but I’ll also give you an all-expense paid trip to Guadalajara, Mexico, and I’ll personally take you to my farm and the Orendain distillery.
Mike Morales: Wow.
Bill Foss: Yes.
Bill Foss: So we’re trying to offer some really nice perks for the people to feel good about their investing in Suavecito Tequila.
Mike Morales: Well, as far as I’m concerned, like I say, here at Tequila Aficionado, we see a lot of brands, a lot of upcoming brands, and I always… The ones that have gone through what we consider our gauntlet, here at Sipping Off The Cuff, and the Brands of Promise, I like to keep an eye on them to see how accurate we were way back then. And it’s always gratifying for me to be… Have that… Been one of the first ones to have seen brands like Suavecito and say, “There’s something special about this. ‘Cause, up until this point, you and I have really never met or communicated, at least not on the phone. So this is our first e-meeting.
Bill Foss: Correct.
Mike Morales: Although… Although there were other folks involved that had brought Suavecito to us, that I have communicated with in the past. And… I always like to keep an eye on our Brands of Promise to make sure that they continue, that if there’s something that we can do to continue keeping… To keeping the… Getting the word out. So when you talk to… You do your tastings in Denver and you talk to people about your brand, what is it… What’s the one thing that you want them to know about Suavecito? If you could only tell them one thing, what would it be?
Bill Foss: Oh my goodness, only one thing? [chuckle] I guess it’s just that we are the world’s smoothest tequila. We’re a true, true sipping tequila. All three of them are true sipping tequilas, they’re that smooth and that delicious.
Mike Morales: For you oak-heads, I’m telling you, this one here, this is… And when we say smooth too, it’s not like… I wouldn’t call it a dessert tequila. You could serve it with a dessert, but I think that the character… At least as I recall, the character of the Anejo was good enough to pair… If you’re into cigars, or after dinner, or pairing with…
Bill Foss: Oh my God, is it good with a cigar. Oh my God. [laughter]
Mike Morales: Did I say cigar?
Bill Foss: Oh my God, is it good with a cigar.
Mike Morales: What’s your favorite? What’s your favorite with… To pair? Do you pair it with the Repo or with the Anejo?
Bill Foss: Oh, the Anejo. A cigar?
Mike Morales: Yeah.
Bill Foss: Yeah, yeah. What we do… We have a lot of restaurants now that are selling so much Suavecito, that I’ve been asked… I’ve even gone to Cleveland and done a couple of tastings at… Where the restaurant does a Suavecito tequila dinner, okay?
Mike Morales: Okay.
Bill Foss: And they do a beautiful menu, beautiful things. And I get up and I explain to the audience how our Blanco complements the appetizer, how our Reposado complements the main dish, and how our Anejo complements the desert and the wine afterwards. Our tequilas just complement food so well, so they’re… They’re just so good that more and more restaurants… As a matter of fact, in Cleveland, we were the… We did one, and the restaurant owner says, “This is the first time we’ve ever done one of these at a restaurant. It was so damn good. Bill, can you come back again in a month? I’m gonna do another one.”
Mike Morales: Wow.
Bill Foss: And I… Yeah, and I flew there, because it makes a bigger impact when the people know they’re meeting the maker. And the restaurant owners, of course, love the fact that I will take the time and the expense to come there. But that restaurant sells five or six bottles of my tequila a week, so you do that and I’ll come to your restaurant, we’ll do a special Suavecito Tequila dinner.
Mike Morales: Have you had a chance to do any here in Texas yet?
Bill Foss: No dinners yet. No, not yet.
Mike Morales: Okay. Well, if you’re watching this here in Texas, ladies and gentlemen…
Mike Morales: Bill would like to do a dinner with you guys. That is so cool, this is… I’m so glad to see that the brand not only has survived, but it’s thrived, especially with the way things are going, like I say, with so many flooding the markets. What are the price points now with… You’re right in there with the premium tequilas, I would say, right?
Bill Foss: I work… We work hard. I don’t make quite as much profit as those premium tequilas because I felt it was important for us to be four or five dollars a bottle below the premium top-selling tequilas. We taste better, then once people taste it, tequila at $4 or $5 a bottle cheaper? It’s a no-brainer then, what to buy.
Mike Morales: Wow. Suavecitotequila.com, that’s the website, right? That’s correct?
Bill Foss: Correct.
Mike Morales: And, again, this will be a… It’s a rarity in this business to be able to own a portion of not only what, in a couple of years, would be a legacy brand, but something produced at a legendary distillery. This is exciting. This is exciting news. I’m glad that you let us be a part of it, that we get to let folks know that there is a possibility you can very easily be a part of what looks to be a thriving brand that’s just gonna continue going and going and going. It’s like the Energizer Bunny.
Bill Foss: Exactly.
Mike Morales: You’re just gonna keep moving and going, and if you happen to see Bill in Las Vegas, at the Las Vegas Nightclub & Bar Show, that’ll be happening in March, go up, say hi, find out if there are any shares left at that point, [laughter] ’cause… Now, your campaign goes for how long? The crowdfunding goes for how long?
Bill Foss: Three months, but as you kind of said, and I’ve had a few other people say the same thing to me, “Bill, you’re already in seven states. There’s enough people that already love Suavecito, if they find out that they can purchase shares, it might not last that long, Bill, you might sell off pretty quick.”
Mike Morales: Well, that’s just it, there’s a danger. We’re letting you folks know ahead of time, this’ll… You’ll… People who will be watching this will be one of the first ones to know this, other than traditional media… ‘Cause I’m sure you’ll be getting the word out, but as far as meeting you and talking about the brand and all that, this will be your… You’re probably watching… One of the first ones to watch this, and appreciate the fact that you wanna get on this bandwagon really quickly because a successful one, successful crowdfunding for tequila… And, lately, have been fast and furious, and then, like you said, you sell out, so you don’t wanna be caught short. You definitely wanna be a part of this if you’re looking to be… To own something, to be a part of something bigger, this is certainly… Do the job. And then the perks are amazing, so that’s certainly… Be something to watch out for.
Mike Morales: Suavecito.com. Take a look, if nothing else. And even if it’s not something that you’re looking for, but you know somebody who is, share the website. Share the crowdfunding information as well, because maybe you know somebody or we know someone who is a real big fan of the tequila and maybe didn’t know about it, didn’t hear about the crowdfunding, that it could be something that you’ve been looking at, because there’s… However anyone can get the word out, that’s certainly the thing that you wanna do. Again, it’s Suavecito Tequila. I know that you hear a lot of this, the world’s smoothest tequila, but they can actually… You guys can actually prove it. I mean, it’s right there in the bottle, it’s right there in the back too. That’s fairly new too, isn’t it? That… I don’t recall that being on the bottle.
Bill Foss: Yeah, that’s original. It’s always been there. Yeah.
Mike Morales: Okay. I really need to go and revisit these again. I hesitate to do that because these are my only bottles right now. I do have the original ones, the empty ones are in my garage. [laughter] I tell people I have probably the largest collection of empties in the business, and yours was one of them. The funny thing is that these will probably go up on my shelf because now I have so many, I can’t finish them all. So, anyway, you have been watching a special edition of Open Bar with Bill Foss, who is the founder and owner of Blue Agave Spirits and also the owner of Suavecito Tequila. They are starting a crowdfund campaign that will be available for 90 days, but I don’t see it lasting more than maybe 30. [chuckle] Find out on the website, Suavecito.com, you can also find out more information on this, on Tequila Aficionado Media as well. So all that information will be available to you so that you can take your piece of the action and be a part of something really… Not just legacy but legendary as well. So thank you, Bill, for taking the time out. I know you’re busy. I know you’re probably getting a lot of crazy weather in Denver. We’re in San Antonio, it’s cold one day and humid the next, so it’s never consistent. I don’t know, you guys have gotten snowed on a lot, haven’t you?
Bill Foss: Denver, hasn’t had that much snow. Obviously, the mountains get a tremendous amount. But when it snows here in Denver, two days later, it’s 46 degrees, blue skies, and the snow is all gone.
Mike Morales: I used to live in New Mexico, same thing. I did that for 13 years. In fact, actually, when I first had Suavecito, I was not in New Mexico, I was actually in Southern California. Congratulations on everything you’ve accomplished with Suavecito. Available at Twin Liquors, here in Texas, in San Antonio.
Bill Foss: Yeah.
Mike Morales: So if you’re looking at us here in Texas, and you’re wanting to see what all the buzz is about, it’s Suavecito Tequila. You can find it at Twin Liquors. Bill, thank you again for your time and for talking with us, and anything else you’d like to cover before I let you go? I know you got things to do, but… The crowdfunding, take a look, okay? Please. And tell your friends.
Bill Foss: That’s it, Mike. It’s been really my pleasure talking with you too today.
Mike Morales: Thanks.
Bill Foss: You know, five years ago, when you and your partner did Suavecito, you came out and did a little video. You held my Anejo bottle out and said, “This is the best up and coming tequila we have ever tasted.” That week, my sales doubled in the cities that I was in, just because of you.
Mike Morales: Really?
Bill Foss: Thank you.
Mike Morales: Wow. Okay, well, I’m glad to see that people are paying attention, and that we were right. We were right back then and… You can’t go… You really can’t go wrong. And right now is probably a time to jump in if you’re looking to, again, be a part of something very, very special. I think Suavecito’s got that special edge, that je ne sais quoi that helps brands. And, as you can tell, it’s not a soulless brand. It’s not just a name and a label. There’s a guy behind it, who stands behind it, and in front of it, and can port for you. And now he’s offering you a piece of the action. So, ladies and gentleman, I would take him up on it before he pulls that away from you. But you’ve been watching Open Bar on Tequila Aficionado Media. All of our platforms. If you’re watching us on YouTube, please subscribe down below, hit that red button. And for more information on the crowdfunding for Suavecito Tequila, keep it here on Tequila Aficionado Media, or go to Suavecito Tequila… Is it suavecito.com or Suavecito Tequila?
Bill Foss: Tequila.com.
Mike Morales: Suavecito Tequila… Tequila.com. All that information is on there. Bill, thank you so much.
Bill Foss: Thank you.
Mike Morales: Thanks again for being here and for taking the time. I’m Mike Morales for Open Bar. Keep it here. We’ve got a lot more stuff coming for you. Thanks again.
For information on the Suavecito Tequila crowdfunding campaign, please visit https://www.startengine.com/suavecito.
Find Suavecito Tequila online:
This interview was sponsored and made possible by Suavecito Tequila.